Geoff Johns Doesn’t Suck
Comic Book Galaxy posts that Geoff Johns has talent comparative to Chuck Austen and Frank Tieri. I’m not certain where he gets off compariny JSA to stuff like Weapon X and Uncanny X-Men.
Despite the many flaws which statistically have to come in droves when one writes prolifically, there are relatively few flaws per actual production of work from Johns. Even better, JSA is actually entertaining and makes fairly good use of the characters’ history/histories and of the franchise’s history. Uncanny X-Men had disintegration communion wafers, over-long love stories with characters we have had minimal exposure to (and thus don’t care about), rancid executions and even ideas for screwing with Nightcrawler’s character, and horribly stupid (and superficial) “examinations” of Christianity and the Catholic church. “Dominant Species” was bad, too. The stories are illogical. Tieri’s Wolverine just suffered from… I don’t know. I found it overly violent and hard to finish. Tieri created such multi-dimensional characters like T and A and his great ultimate fighting man character, Mr. X, was explained as a telepath, which still doesn’t explain half of the stuff we saw him do. That doesn’t mean that Geoff John’s Avengers was good.
Where the criticism of Johns is correct is when and where it takes on his penchant for inserting what is likely inapropriate material into what is essentially a lunchbox hero. The Flash is now, like it or not, a cartoon character with a large audience that includes many many children. What is in the Flash comic book? Faces are being torn off and Captain Cold goes into discussions of hookers. It really is similiar to what Scott Tipton talked about in his article on Identity Crisis issues 1 and 2. The Flash character has a large audience consisting of a wide demographic but making the jump in media from television cartoons to comic books we find something that is apropriate for a decidedly narrow demographic. That is a mistake. Geoff John could tell some fine tales but the better path is to tone down the “adult” material because that would make it possible to widen the audience.
The fact is that that wouldn’t widen the audience automatically, but there’s no reason to close doors or make a comic for what is now a children’s character into something that a child can’t consume.
It’s not an anomaly ofr Johns. One of the most notorious examples was during his brief run on the Avengers when there was a rather graphic example of a healthy sexual relationship between Hank “Yellowjacket” Pym and his wife. Or it’s a graphic example of an unhealthy sexual relationship with his ex-wife. Either way the dialogue combined with the imagery doesn’t leave enough to the imagination; there’s too much direct implication for my tastes and more importantly it’s too direct and too graphic for an immature juvenile audience.
Johns is a mixed bag.